Walt Disney’s masterpiece “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first full-length motion picture ever put out by Disney Studios. It was a bit of a gamble; would audiences respond to it? Walt needn’t have worried; “Snow White” was a smash hit at the box office and continues to be one of the most famous movies ever released.
The plot of the movie follows that of the classic fairy tale: Snow White is a beautiful young girl who is being raised by her wicked stepmother, also a powerful queen and witch. Her hair is black as ebony, her lips as red as the rose, and her skin is as white as the snow.
Her stepmother is jealous of Snow White’s beauty because she herself wants to be the fairest woman in the land. Each day, she goes to her magic mirror and says, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Each day, the mirror tells her that Snow White wins this particular beauty contest, and the queen grows more and more angry. Finally, she summons a woodsman and gives him a charge: he is to take Snow White hunting with him, kill her, and bring back her heart in a box. He’s too afraid of the queen to disobey, and so he agrees.
But when the time comes to do the dastardly deed, the woodsman can’t do it. During their walk into the forest, he has noticed how kind Snow White is, and he knows that the queen’s plan is evil. He tells Snow White to run into the forest, and he takes the heart of an animal back to show the queen.
Snow White runs deeper and deeper into the woods, scared and exhausted. Finally she sees a small house in a clearing, and upon entering it, sees seven little chairs, seven little beds, and a huge mess everywhere. She decides that this house must belong to seven very sloppy children, and she gets to work cleaning it up, with the help of her forest friends. Then she falls asleep in the bedroom, worn right out.
The dwarfs come home to find their house clean, and think something terrible has happened! But when they find the girl and hear her story, they take her in, and together they defeat the wicked queen who has discovered that she’s not dead after all. Oh, and of course there’s a handsome prince involved too.
This film is beloved by audiences all over, but I do offer the caution that there are some parts of the film that may be too scary for your very young children. My daughter had a difficult time with even the picture book until she was about five years old, but then had no issues with it.
Be sure to introduce this piece of film-making history to your family today!